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WIP Iris Potter and the Goblet's Surprise by Autumn Souls - M

Discussion in 'Review Board' started by Taure, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Eidolonic

    Eidolonic Chief Warlock

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    This was better than I expected it to be after reading part of the first chapter, which is...perhaps damning it with faint praise.

    But it's pretty clear that the author wasn't exaggerating when they said they kind of mashed two different fic archetypes together - a crack fic and a serious one. The humor is initially a bit over the top and eyeroll inducing and almost made me click out of it, but it does get a little better when it starts to move along plot wise.

    I quite like most of the interactions with Iris/Hermione, which is always something I look for in fics, personally. She's an easy character to just shoehorn into an archetype, but it feels...okay, here.

    It's not fantastically written, it's not fantastically engaging, but it's something I glad I read, and I tossed a follow onto it as I'll be happy to read more of it when I updates, and that has value of some kind? Somewhere in the 3-4 range if I had to put a number on it, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable doing so.

    Semi-unrelated, but yes, A Long Journey Home is by far the best female Harry story in the fandom, and one of my top 5 favorites in the fandom overall.
     
  2. Varaug

    Varaug Squib

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    Yes! Yes you should!!
     
  3. The Iron Rose

    The Iron Rose Death Eater

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    The Pureblood Pretense already has been, to fairly mixed leaning negative reviews.

    Which is fine, it's pretty full of cliches, and I'm perfectly happy accepting that the fanfic I read isn't the greatest.
     
  4. tekomandor

    tekomandor Squib

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    This seems to have undergone something of a major rewrite, and I like it much better now.
     
  5. Harry_J_Potter

    Harry_J_Potter Second Year

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    Damn, need to go to sleep. Read the title as Iris Potter and the Golden Surprise. Was confused by Taure's taste
     
  6. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    Eh, 3.5 out of 5 for me. It did get me to chuckle a few times, but I'd day the biggest flaw in this piece is how it relies on lampshading tropes in fanfiction. The premise can be boiled down to a parody of a Mary Sue in a less flanderized Wizarding England than in most Mary Sue fanfiction. Iris is mildly obnoxious in a believable way, Ron is boring, and Hermione is reasonably well characterized. Most of the humor is derived from making fun of the overblown characterizations that are all too common, but what remains when you remove that isn't terribly interesting.
     
  7. pbluekan

    pbluekan Groundskeeper DLP Supporter

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    If nothing else, this piece gets some points for originality. Fem!Harry/Fleur? I’ve seen authors use lots of interesting contrivances to get around the problem inherent in that pairing. Using a fem!Harry is ... different, and I like different.

    Especially when the author can actually write. The story is fairly polished from a mechanical perspective, and I can certainly give the author some points here. There are few typos and no major grammatical errors popped out at me. Those that I did find were not gaps in knowledge, but simple mistakes, and even those were rare.

    I’ll also give a few points for quality Triwizard Tournament design. The tasks are inventive and fun, and the author has a decent hand for action.

    Where this piece really loses out, is in the pacing. It feels slow and tends to drag. The author is trying to do a lot. Animagus transformations, metamorphmagus reveals, triwizard tasks, teenage angst, there is a lot going on here, and yet the fix still seems to drag.

    3.5/5
    --- Post automerged ---
    Pretty much the gold standard, IMO, though it gets some mixed reviews if the reader stops before the Merlin arc.
    I can’t actually deal with this one. The crack is just a little too extreme. The Naruto crossover is a bit more readable. I think maybe the craziness just fits better, I think.
     
  8. coolname95

    coolname95 First Year

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    The story has progressed quite a bit - time for a second review, since for some reason I can't edit the first one.

    The author fixed some of the issues from earlier chapters (the pointless shopping trip, for one). Further, it hasn't degenerated in to super-Iris or angst-I-was-so-abused-Iris story, so the author has managed to avoid that nicely enough. I find that the humor has gotten a bit better over time as well. At least to me it feels the author is improving. So, 3.5/5 for now.
     
  9. why?

    why? Fourth Year

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    Well that was a surprise and a half. There's been rewrites upon rewrites and it's only gotten better.

    I still remember the first iteration of the prologue where Iris was called Violet and had well, violet eyes and Lily had fed James some potion to fool him. *sheds a tear*

    The first task was one real fucking ride. Maybe even too exciting. I actually thought the 2nd task paled in comparison, what with it being plain ol' dueling, but then I remembered that it's just a bonus event, with the real task coming after. Excited to see what's next.

    The author plans on turning this into a million word story, which quite frankly, is insane and unnecessary. Half that amount is more than enough. That said, the current industry standard for unnecessary words is Prince of Slytherin and in spite of some boring scenes, this story is still a far cry from the randomness that passes through The Sinister Man's gigantic idea sieve.

    Anyway, Iris has been mouthing off everyone and their grandmother for a while now and we haven't seen any repercussions yet. Her recklessness and overconfidence have gotten her into some trouble in the last update, and I'm curious to see what will happen now.

    Not sure why she didn't just outright kill Nagini though. If you need an author's note to justify your character's actions, then maybe you just didn't write the scene well enough, nomsayin? Her being high as balls (she smoked a bunch of bowls), tired and emotional might mean she doesn't kill Babymort and instead goes off on a bit of a monologue. After getting bit once, you'd think she'd fucking diffindo the snake instead of blasting her off again? But no. :/

    There isn't much that's particularly wrong with this and it's a cut above the generic stuff that plagues /r/HPFanfiction, in that it's funny and entertaining. However, it's still DLP-lite. What You Leave Behind and Circular Reasoning are the only stories I'd give a 5/5 without a 2nd thought.

    So, 3.5 rounded down to 3. Seems I forgot to actually rate it last time. Or I'd decided to wait until there was more.

    (edited out some typos and added a bit more about Nagini and tasks)

    nth edit:

    There's a few parallels to be drawn with The Lie I've Lived. Convoluted Fleur romance. Different tasks. Similar type of humour, albeit perhaps less stale. (but then I haven't read a million words of this yet...)
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  10. VorpalWeenie

    VorpalWeenie Squib

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    Overall I like it.
    Very fun take on the new tasks. So far only the first task took place but it was fresh with new wtfness, although it does feel a little oversaturated with how long the action sequence was. Iris isn't all-powerful but in typical form, she kicks ass anyway with her limited knowledge. Obvious main points are new intrigue, new sexuality, and rebellion-derived ill-timed humor.

    The author doesn't try to fit a female Harry into the regular Harry box, instead trying to define a new Potter and slowly filling in a new box. Iris has had some different experiences in the past that have been alluded to or outright explained but a lot is still left for us to learn.

    It's clearly significant for Iris that she's gay but there's no major angst that really comes from it and it doesn't take over the plot. Unlike a lot of similar stories, there's no mortal peril and bashing from the whole world because she's paradoxically the only one who's different. She's obviously nervous and afraid of the reaction of the Wizarding World but as the story progresses we start finding out that she might just be misunderstanding her society and the severity of any imagined consequences. This isn't done in a dramatic way but I think more in a "this world is complex and she's growing up in it and into it, like everyone else in any world."
    So in terms of coming out, it feels like a coming of age thing rather than persecution and...witch-hunting... :D

    Iris' sense of humor, like many have mentioned, is verging on inappropriate and seems to be escalating but I don't see it as the author spiraling into edginess. Rather, Iris is slowly spiraling because she's finding herself stuck in many uncomfortable situations coupled with her own self doubts and for her, bad humor is preferable to ALL-CAPS!HARRY. Her rebellion doesn't sound like the author thinks edgy-main-character is so brilliant. She's 14 and still learning to balance rebellion and independence with socially acceptable behavior. I laugh at her humor. Yes, a few of those jokes should probably stay in her head but that's up to Iris to learn.

    Nice relationship with Hermione, who I usually find to be boring in fanfiction. Not too much angst despite their complicated history. Predictable Ron but then again, Ron is predictable at that age (arguably any age).
    Honestly a solid 4.5/5 from me, pending on future development of this planned "new take on rune magic".
     
  11. StudentPanaKleksa

    StudentPanaKleksa Squib

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    It's good thing I've read only Taure's comment before I started reading the fic . If I had read other comments, I probably wouldn't even have downloaded it. I liked it. It's funny, it has nice flow, Iris is obvoiusly a brat, but in a fun way.
    This task was total overkill, no way any of them would be able to beat all the monsters, a lot of them in a nonlethal way. They could survive encounters by being sneaky or avadakedavrad creatures one by one, but battling head-on without black magic?
    4/5
     
  12. The Iron Rose

    The Iron Rose Death Eater

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    Bumping up my rating to a full 5/5. The first chapter or two are weak, but the fic just keeps getting steadily better and better.

    The fact that it's hilarious is a bonus. It even manages to gently mock other fanfic tropes without it being obviously meta, which is a genuinely impressive accomplishment.
     
  13. RabidAsparagus

    RabidAsparagus Squib

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    Going to give this a 4/5. Technically sound, and it really does build itself up from a weak beginning. The humor still feels a bit jarring but it's not overpowering so I can live with it. I liked the second task in the latest chapter and I'm fairly sure that there was a deliberate Witcher 3 reference there, which makes me much more inclined to like the story.
     
  14. kuci

    kuci Squib

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    I cannot recommend this in any way after reading the first chapter. Everyone in this thread keeps saying that it gets better after that but I cannot get over that first one. 14yo going toe to toe with adults and much older teenagers in verbal sparring I might get over... But the genre savvines she displays by knowing in the first few paragraphs she would get entered and doing nothing about it... Or expecting to be hated by her own house.

    I will give it 2/5 and that is just because technically there is nothing wrong with the writing, but the first chapter is horrible and I can only hope it does get better.
     
  15. MrBucket

    MrBucket Squib

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    How are you going to give it a rating if you've read literally only 5,000 words out of the 150,000+ that's there? I agree that the first chapter is weak, but it doesn't feel right to rate a story or say if you'd recommend it when you've read like 2% of it.

    Are you sure you didn't just skim it? She did do something about it: tell the staff members. What else could she have done? And it's not really genre savvyness if it makes sense to expect something bad to happen. There was a pattern, and tbh I thought it was a bit odd to see Harry get completely blindsided by it in canon. & seeing as Harry had most (if not all) Gryffindors (including Fred and George his first year) turn on him in his first and second year, I don't think it's a stretch to say this fem!harry would expect it. She was wrong anyway, which leads me to my review:

    Iris isn't a Mary Sue, thankfully, which I'm grateful for. She messes up, makes mistakes, sometimes often, is wrong, has her temper and insults and jokes come back to bite her in the ass, etc etc etc. She's powerful for her age, but not OP. She feels like what Dumbledore and Tom Riddle would have been like at 14 ( in terms of power). Still, there's plenty of magic she doesn't know or even sucks at. It was rather refreshing to see her attempt a spell in the first task and have it completely fail.

    I think the first chapter is rather weak, as others have said. Chapters 2 & 3 get mildly better, but not by much. They're not terrible, and are better than the most of what's on that site (which isn't saying much), but they're not great. After that though it does get better. Significantly better, especially Chapter 5 and everything after.

    The first task was intense, but it felt a little too much in terms of lethality. Author says there's supposed to be an in story reason for it, so I'm not taking any points for that. Second task was probably the most unique task I've seen in fanfiction, so gotta give points for it. Won't spoil it as it's the kinda thing you're supposed to go in blind for. Looking forward to the rest of the tasks.

    Iris kinda reminds me of Shawn Spencer from the TV show Psych. Shawn and Gus have a sort of friendship that I kinda get the same feeling from with Iris and Hermione. As Psych is one of my favorite shows of all time, I do like Iris quite a bit. It's obvious she's supposed to be a bit of a brat, but it's done in a fun lovable kind of way, that, again, reminds me of Shawn Spencer. Ron isn't good or bad in this fic. He has a few neat lines, but I don't think the fic would lose anything if he was never seen again. Fleur is fine; her character's nothing amazing, and I enjoy seeing Iris & Hermione together more than Iris & Fleur, but she's fine.

    The characters in general feel real and not two-dimensional. There's no bashing. Humor is my type of humor, so it's made me laugh more than a few times. Barely any spelling or grammar mistakes. The writing itself is good. Outside of the first four chapters, canon rehashing is kept to a minimum, either skipping canon scenes entirely or reducing them to a sentence or paragraph. Wasn't really a fan of her getting high though.

    Some people mentioned that she gets away with mouthing off to adults, but meh, I've seen it happen IRL with mild consequences. And seeing as Iris apparently doesn't care about house points, detentions, and doesn't believe Dumbledore would expel her, it's not something that bothers me. Still, I feel like someone would just hit her with a silencing charm eventually.

    No pairing yet, apparently. Author hasn't decided yet I guess. I'm personally not a fan of the idea of Iris/Fleur, but there's been so little romance so far that it's not a big deal. Plus there's the chance it won't even be Fleur in the end.

    Also Fallout 4 and Witcher 3 reference.

    4.5/5 for me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  16. illya_

    illya_ First Year

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    I remember when the author actually rewrote parts of the earliest chapters to give of a more serious tone.

    With chapter 14 we are sadly back in crack territory...
     
  17. MrBucket

    MrBucket Squib

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    I just finished it. While the transition from Chapter 13 (pretty serious in tone and content) to this one was kinda jarring, and likely would be more so if you read one after the other, I didn't really think it was crack. Pushing towards the line that separates crack and noncrack? Maybe, but not quite there. Seems more like only Iris herself was on crack instead. Or is just purposely being eccentric and whatever. I think I'll cope by just assuming she's making herself act like that as a defense mechanism...

    Regardless, I think she/he did push it too much into humor with Ch 14, especially after last chapter. I liked the chapter for what it was, but...
    Idk, I remember reading that the fic will get more serious toward the end and even more so in the sequel, and while I enjoy the humor now, it could get old 200,000 words later... so I can only hope that my "headcanon" is right and Iris is just using humor and being absurd as a defensive mechanism. The author does the serious parts well, it's just the odd shifts in tone from chapter to chapter that can throw me off, so I'd really rather it shifts away from that soon. And when I say soon, I mean like literally the next chapter.
     
  18. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Just caught up on this, not having read it since I first recommended it back in August.

    If you had to describe the fic in one phrase, it would be "over the top". Everything - the Triwizard tasks, the humour, the relationships, the culture of the wizarding world - has been magnified to the point of breaking reader suspension of disbelief.

    What saves the fic is the quality of the writing, which manages to keep you engaged despite that absurdity. It's among the best in the fandom, especially some of the later chapters. The same events and relationship dynamics would be well into crackfic territory were they handled by a less capable writer. As it is, the author mostly prevents the fic from descending into full-on crack, though at times fails in this task.

    And the fic is doubtless an entertaining roller-coaster ride. Nonetheless, I feel like this over-the-top nature prevents the fic from being truly great. There's a barrier preventing you from fully investing in the characters or events, because you just don't buy into the world or character actions. This isn't just about the humour, like it was before the re-write. It's a pervasive surrealism which invades every scene and character interaction. It's also about how the story veers wildly from event to event, each one "bigger" than the last in terms of scale, emotional trauma, angst, etc.

    This also includes the way the story shuttles rapidly between different themes/tones. It's not really a "general" fic, like canon, which has moments of seriousness and levity, each at their due time. To achieve that you need to establish a certain baseline of normality/sanity from which those moments depart. This fic has events that are extremely grave, or extremely comedic. There's nothing in between, no "normal".

    If the fic were just a short, self-contained crack-fic, fine. Mission accomplished. But given the author's ambitions from the story, I believe that they want the fic to carry an emotional punch that only a serious fic can, one that people invest in as a complete, grounded world and cast of characters. That's just not happening as the fic is.

    The fic is so close. All the author needs to do to achieve greatness is to learn the value of moderation and the place of understatement. The importance of normality, if you are going to be writing a fic which covers years and years of a person's life. It is only through having the characters' life experiences grounded in a level of normality that the moments of excitement, action, and personal revelation feel special.

    As a random aside, the Iris/Fleur interaction is very well done. It is not a coincidence, I think, as these interactions are the closest thing the fic has to taking a moment to breathe.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
  19. Download

    Download Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    I now want to see more fics where fem!harry regularly huffs a bong.
    --- Post automerged ---
    I want to see Hermione's reaction to the drug use.
     
  20. Download

    Download Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    The author is doing a rewrite now.